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CAUSES OF DOCTRINAL DEVELOPMENT.

If, then, it was a duty of charity to consult largely the prejudices of those who had always been accustomed to the restrictive enactments of the Mosaic law, as we know the Apostles did, it was none the less clearly incumbent upon all those who were responsible for preserving untainted the reglion of Jesus Christ to guard it from the risk of any admixture of the anthropomorphic tendencies so rife in the ancient Pagan world. Hence, obviously it would not have been consistent with Christian prudence to ___ forth very prominently before the first Christians the cultus of the Saints, or to tolerate -- much less to encourage -- generally the use of Images in public worship, while there was an appreciable danger of such representations of Christ adn the Saints being abused by half-instructed neophytes. And so on in other cognate matters.

7. We remark, moreover, that religious devotions and pious practices, which afterwards became popular and were sanctioned by the Church, did not show themselves with any prominence in early times until the dogmas upon which they were based had been themselves set forth explicitly, and authoritatively defined. A doctrine must first be adequately apprehended, and distinctly believed, before the religious practice or devotion to which it gives rise will gain a hold on and become familiar to the faithful. This will explain what is noticeable in the Fathers, that whereas they dwell frequently on the glory and intercessory power of the Saints in heaven, hardly anything is to be found in their early writings on the duty or practice of praying to them, and very few examples are recorded by them of such invocation. For that matter, the same might be said as a general rule, even of prayers to our Lord Jesus Christ, and still more, to the Holy Ghost.

Cardinal Newman in stating an argument of the Anglican bishop, Butler, which is of force here, writes as follows: --

 

 

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